Knotweed is not OK

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A woman stands beneath a thicket of green knotweed which towers over her.

Invasive knotweed will grow up to five metres tall and will shade out anything growing beneath it. — Photo courtesy CKIPC

Invasive species are a big problem when it comes to ecological health and knotweed is one of the most common in the Kootenays.

“Invasive knotweeds can grow one metre per month and have the ability to push through concrete, brick and asphalt” said Crystal Klym, executive director of the Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee (CKIPC). “These knotweeds form such a dense thicket that nothing will grow underneath them, which impacts biodiversity, water quality and fisheries habitat along stream edges. Once established, these plants are extremely difficult to get rid of.”

The plants are also called “false bamboo,” and have tall bamboo-like stems while growing in thick patches. They are often planted as an ornamental, but can cause extensive damage. They rank among the world’s worst invasive species and are designated as noxious under the B.C. Weed Control Act.

CKIPC successfully applied for funding from the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program for the “Not-A-Weed” project in Nelson. CKIPC representatives will conduct an inventory of knotweed in the City of Nelson, contact residents who have knotweed on their property and will provide information on its control and safe disposal.

For more information on knotweed or other invasive species, visit the CKIPC website.

Kristen Mitchell

Kristen studied at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook and has worked in a variety of industries, from agriculture to construction, retail to restaurants. She now brings her understanding of the area to Kootenay Business magazine. View all of Kristen Mitchell’s articles

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